As soon as Clint Eastwood was unveiled as the “surprise” speaker at the Republican National Convention, the Internet was poised to turn his appearance into some sort of meme. Dirty Harry speaking at the Republicans’ most-spotlighted confab? Surely there would be something to talk about for days following. And Eastwood didn’t disappoint: during his speech, the Hollywood legend started talking to an empty chair. And this morning, there’s much ado about nothing — primarily, the “nothing” in the empty chair beside Eastwood.
“Mr. President, how do you handle promises that you made…when you were running for election?” begins Eastwood’s interrogation of the empty chair (3:15 in the above clip). He continued bantering in this vein. “What do you mean, ‘Shut up’?” he joked at one point, seemingly frustrated with the inanimate chair.
(PHOTOS: Crazy Accessories at the RNC)
Naturally, Eastwood’s speech set off an explosion of tweets, with no fewer than two parody accounts launched even before Eastwood concluded. We’ve rounded up the funniest tweets here, but it took the morning-after lucidity to spark a true meme. And so #Eastwooding, like #Bradying or #Tebowing long before it, became a brief Internet thing.
If you haven’t joined in, it’s probably time to enjoy the moment for what netizens will remember it for: the night that everyone online uploaded some variation of a picture of themselves angrily pointing a finger at an empty chair. If you’ve avoided Twitter for the past few hours, here’s a few widely-circulated examples below to get you started.
And, as many media outlets quickly noticed, even President Obama’s Twitter account appeared to slyly reference the meme:
Has this meme jumped the shark already? Perhaps. Will it stop others from contributing? Certainly not. But the shelf-life seems short — so quickly, find an empty chair.